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Italy corruption trial of ex-PM Berlusconi begins

[JURIST] The trial of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] and former lawyer David Mills began Tuesday in Milan on charges of corruption arising from Berlusconi's alleged payment of $600,000 to Mills for favorable testimony at trials in the 1990s. Last month, the Italian Court of Cassation [official website, in italian] ruled that Berlusconi should face trial [JURIST report] in an appeals court on accusations he had bribed judges to stop the auction of the SME state-owned food company to a rival in 1985. The Daily Mail has more.

Berlusconi, a media mogul and Italy's richest man, has faced numerous allegations of corruption in the past. In 2006, he was ordered to stand trial for embezzlement, false accounting, tax fraud, money laundering, and giving false testimony [JURIST reports] at trials involving his broadcasting company Mediaset [corporate website]. Last month, a judge threw out some of the tax fraud charges [JURIST report] against Berlusconi because the statute of limitations had expired.

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